Tacoma's membership dilemma
Mar 10, 2006 09:05 PM
John wrote: "When I finally actually talked to one of them on the
phone they wouldn't give an address or any information about how a new
member might join them. This sure was very strange to me, but now
maybe I begin to understand how stifled and scared the membership
might have become internal to their knowledge and how it become the
icy cold clammy hand of death upon the growth at grass roots level of
things. Perhaps a special Poll is necessary and questions that are
pointedly directly configured to determine what fears are held against
acceptance of new members that might place them in a position similar
or same to the Tacoma Lodge."
As regards the Tacoma Lodge, TSA added people to the Lodge' roster of
which the Tacoma Lodge had no knowledge. A group of any kind tends to
develop its own identity, derived from individuals attracted to it.
By getting to know an individual then voting to make that person a
member gives both the individual and the lodge a chance to get to know
In the early days, I believe lodges selected at least one object as
its focus. Not all lodges elected to work on the same objects, and
various lodges developed differently.
In the case of one person that TSA added to Tacoma's roster, I was
told he was a spiritualist who wanted to use the lodge to give
spiritualist lectures. He had little knowledge of theosophy, and may
not have been interested in it in view of his proclaimed success with
spiritualism. Members of the lodge explained that they were not a
spiritualist center and did not want to be used as one. There's a
spiritualist center near Tacoma that would be more appropriate to his
I have similar reasons for not making my study group in Montana open
to everyone who calls me in the middle of the night. When I realized
how voluminous Blavatsky's writing were and how much I liked her, I
started a study group with the explicit purpose of studying "The
Secret Doctrine." A number of people were invited by word of mouth.
What showed up in my home was a collection of people, of which many
tended to use the study group as a gathering to hawk their own
believes and methods.
These people met in my home at my expense and proceeded to compete for
attention. One woman introduced herself as a healer and repeatedly
went back to one visual image of seeing a tiger spinning in a
whirlwind when she healed. She explained that she had not completed
high school and did not believe she would be able to study "The Secret
Doctrine," much less write a 2-page paper each month on the lessons.
Another woman believed the spinning tiger healer was a phony and
called her an embarrassment to Reike healing methods. She could easly
have done the study of "The Secret Doctrine," but was always busy with
other things. She attended the meetings but was not able to discuss
the book, because she hadn't read it.
So much time was spent competing for righteousness that little study
of "The Secret Doctrine" was accomplished. It seemed obvious that we
could not discuss theosophy until we knew something about it, and "The
Secret Doctrine" was the place to begin.
When I put my foot down and said essentially what I have said on this
list. Psychics, saints and psychotics have been hearing voices since
the beginning of time. The trick is to get them to tell you the
truth. The study group needed to focus on the study we had all agreed
on in the beginning.
The spinning tiger lady and her friend were so offended by accusations
of being a phony healer that they stopped coming. The the phony
healer accuser stopped coming. Then her friend stopped coming. The
few who were left wanted to study "The Secret Doctrine," and we began
to make headway.
When people call me now, I make it clear that we are a study group.
We study and use dictionaries. If a person wants to work with us on
that basis, they are welcome. I have never turned away anyone who
wanted to work on those terms. This does not mean that we are
entirely intellectual with no interest in the hidden powers.
We decided to add energy work to our meetings, because one of the
women had never heard of anything like that. We used tuning forks the
first time we worked with her, with the idea of demonstrating subtle
energy functions. When we were done, the woman began reading
something we were talking about then realized she wasn't wearing her
glasses. She could see near and far without glasses for months.
About 4 months later then mentioned that she had started needing her
She went home and told her husband we had tuned up her chakras, a new
term for her. She had so much energy that started cleaning house and
singing. Her husband later asked, "What did they tune up?" She
explained chakras as she had learned about them that day.
We continue to do pragmatic work with the principles we study in "The
Secret Doctrine," whenever possible. Over the last year, the "chakra
tuning" had has confided several times that Theosophy is what she's
really looking for. She has become a Theosophist.
I don't turn my time, energy, and home over to anyone who walks in the
door and wants an audience. Our study group has a focus, and we work
with that focus. Reike practioners are many, and they should work in
centers that invite that focus.
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